as a TV and radio voice over talent in El Paso, Texas.
My first radio gig was at a public radio station in El
Paso (KXCR). While working that part time job, I was
also offered a part time job at the CHR in the market
(Power 102) which became my first fulltime midday
gig. This was a springboard to getting a job (eventually
middays) at the station I grew up listening to (and is
now defunct) KTFM (Hot 103). From there I tried hot
country (ewe!) and even smooth jazz (ZZZzzzz…..) for a
few months till my next long term deal at KZEP (a
classic rock station in San Antonio). While at KZEP I
was also an entertainment reporter for the local NBC
affiliate on Friday mornings. Then I bought a parka and
moved to Minneapolis for middays at KS95 before coming
to WAY-FM where I am PD/Mornings in West Palm and voice
track Middays in Denver.
1. Tell us about
your market and how it is unique?
is a true melting pot. Less than ten percent of the population is
native Floridian. Besides moving here from different geographical
locations, many cultures are a vital part of the South Florida
lifestyle. Surfers and skaters, Cuban food and music, Guatemalan
migrant workers, black and white and everything in between make up
the South Florida market.
It’s not just the many different faces that contribute to being
unique but we in South Florida are surely NOT in the Bible
belt…combine that with the beach and the sun…sexuality is a huge
influence on the culture of our market.
is the most fulfilling aspect to you personally about Christian
It’s the same as it was three years ago. Purpose. After many, many
years of mainstream radio I can only remember a handful of days
turning off the mic and feeling like the job I did really made a
difference. In this format, EVERY day, every song can make a
do you personally keep the ministry in the business?
Our on air product is key, of course. One way we are able to
minister on air is to be very real. Very transparent. We laugh on
the air (a lot) we cry…we talk about things that have really
happened in our lives that keep us on the same page as our listener-
reminding her constantly that we are not all high and mighty because
we’re in the D.J. chair…we’re still messed up and broken. These
kinds of reminders have helped to build trust with our audience and
I believe they feel like “they know who their dealing with”. The
music is obviously an even bigger factor and a great deal of wisdom
goes into that.
4.What kind of promotions work best
for your station?
Here is a formula I like to keep in mind:
Can everyone participate?
Is it bigger that one person wining a prize for himself?
Does it get the community talking about you?
If all answers are “yes” then ask:
Why are we doing this?
How does it the benefit to the listener?
If these can be answered without the word, Idunno, then we are onto
5. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian
“The way we’ve always done it”. We really have to be able to think
in different colors and sizes about music, promotions, hiring
talent. I am hearing amazing ideas as programmers and jocks become
less timid about sharing the crazy thing they just thought of. So
what if it’s a zillion dollars and we’ll never be able to pull it
off, maybe someone else will spin an idea from yours! P.S…read the
book Marketing Outrageously
by Jon Spoelstra!!!!
I loved it!
There’s another book called If
it Ain't Broke...Break It!
I don’t necessarily buy into that but sometimes it’s worth looking
into completely revamping an event or program.
6. What do you believe is the primary
role of the Christian radio air personality today?
The same as a mainstream radio personality. Communicator. We
really need to be able to speak in a language that everyone
understands. We can talk about getting rid of the secret handshake
all day but log on to five different Christian radio stations on any
given day and see how long it takes before you hear something that
would make you go “huh?” if you were not a Christian radio D.J. We
have the hardest job in media: We have to sound like we are
shooting from the hip, yet be fully prepped. We have to be
scripturally sound while we relate that knowledge to everyday
events; we must be up on current events and not live in a bubble and
talk about pop culture through a Christian world view without using
preachy words! Sheesh! It’s really tough for jocks coming into the
format- especially as we continue to study what turns people off.
7. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
If you can look at your specific company (not just the music you
play) and say things are about the same as they were five years ago,
this is probably where you’ll be five years from now, too. And if
your vision and mission are not clear and clearly explained you
might also be in the same spot. I’m sure there are GMs and
programmers who won’t mind and that’s fine.
WAY-FM has an aggressive vision. I can’t even offer a prediction
beyond the fact that we are aiming to impact the lives of one
million youth and young adults by the end of next year. This was a
goal set in 2003 and when we reach it we will celebrate, then, set a
I think just as there are mainstream radio stations, newspapers,
magazines and television cable channels- Christian radio stations as
a whole will have some that rise, some that fall and some that stay
the same. WAY-FM, as an example though, having a mission and vision
that everyone can put their arms around has enabled tremendous